Researchers have long known that Christmastime affects marital satisfaction both positively and negatively. On the positive side marriages benefit from shared traditions, quality time, expressions of love and gratitude, and gift-giving associated with Christmas.
But, there is also a dark side to the effect of Christmas on marriage relationships. Financial pressure, family dynamics, time management, and the disappointment from non-realized expectations can all bring challenges to any marriage.
The best way to navigate the negative aspects of Christmas on your marriage is to pursue better communication, mutual understanding and adjusting expectations closer to reality. It is also helpful to manage these stressors as a team. The shared experience will help you find the joy that Christmas is supposed to be about. Have a Marriage Christmas!
Couples are becoming less and less likely to put their incomes into the same pot. She has "her" bank account, and he has "his." They view both their incomes and bills as "his" and "hers," as if they were some sort of merger or business partnership.
But, when you were married, the preacher said that the two of you have become “one.” You are no longer individuals but “one.” Your finances become one. You and your spouse’s incomes are “one.” Your individual bills became “one.” Your finances should be as united as you are.
One of the ways we can live as the “one” we are is to instead of thinking in terms of “me” and “mine” think in terms of “us” and “ours.” Her income is both of "yours." His income is both of "yours." After all, the two of you became "one" and your finances should reflect that. There is a lot of talk about pronouns these days, but the only pronouns couples need to concern themselves with are “us” and “ours.”
The best way to apologize depends on the situation and the people involved, but there are some general principles that can guide you in making a sincere and effective apology:
Finally, it's essential to learn from your mistakes and strive to avoid repeating them. Consistently demonstrating changed behavior is a crucial part of making amends and rebuilding trust.
The definition for “forgive” in the American Heritage Dictionary is “To give up resentment against or stop wanting to punish (someone) for an offense or fault; pardon.”* How healthy can a relationship be when we hold resentment or the desire to make our partner squirm?
Healthy relationships with imperfect people require forgiveness. Forgiveness says, “I excuse your imperfection for the sake of the relationship.” In fact, forgiveness prevents us from needing to be perfect in the first place. Relationships with imperfect people cannot survive unforgiveness. One of the reasons relationships become unhealthy is the cessation of forgiveness.
If your relationship has been hurt by resentment, remember your relationship with an imperfect person can only last if your forgiveness can cover the other’s imperfection. We all need to be forgiven and we all need to give it.
Please E-mail me your questions on forgiveness if you have any.
* Downloaded from https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=forgive on September 7, 2023.
Boundaries are the extents we must go through to protect ourselves from being hurt by our hurt relatives. A good boundary answers the question “How close can I get to a hurting family member and still show the relative love without being so close that I get hurt?” An example may be, “If my dad starts drinking at the party, I am going to get out of there.”
It isn’t enough to set a boundary; we also need to respect our boundaries. It is not the hurt relative’s job to respect our boundaries. It is not even necessary for the family member to know our boundaries. We respect our boundaries by making good on the ones we set.
If you have a family member that you are so close to that you get hurt, you may want to consider setting and keeping a boundary with him or her. It may take some practice to find the balance between love and protection.
Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.” In marriage there are many assumptions and most of them are wrong.
These assumptions pertain mostly to our spouse’s motivations and intentions and then we act on these assumptions. If Einstein is right, we waste much relational time on these negative assumptions only to find out later we are wrong.
The next time you have an assumption about your spouse, why not verify with your spouse that your assumption is correct?
Wake up the genius inside you.
THE MAGIC OF MARRIAGE is that opposites attract. This means that savers are attracted to spenders. Many of my therapy clients are in conflict over spending. A good way to resolve the conflict is to adopt a policy of marital allowance.
Marital allowance occurs when you and your spouse agree to the maximum amount of money either of you can spend on any particular item without approval by the other. When I was first married not only was I broke, but I was also in debt to my fianceé. She is the saver, I am the spender. Our first argument was over $80 I spent on some snow boots. We decided then that the best way to reign in my financial habit was to settle on the amount I could blow without her approval. We agreed on $20. It is still that way 44-plus years later.
The amount of the allowance is almost irrelevant. Some of my clients set theirs at $100, others at $300. The issue is agreement, rules, and follow through.
If you find that financial arguments are commonplace, you may want to consider adopting the policy of marital allowance. It has worked for me, my clients, and it will probably work for you.
This is my second installment of three on finances. Many of my therapy clients are incumbered with debt. One of the best ways to get out from under debt is to pay-off the debt early.
PsychologyToday.com reports that bad behaviors, especially those that pertain to spending, are among the ten primary reasons that relationships break up. This is the first installment of three blogs on finances. I chose this subject because it has come up a few times this week in my therapy practice.
The best way to get a handle on your finances is to have a budget and then execute that budget. It doesn’t help to plan the work of fiscal responsibility, if you aren’t going to work the plan.
Typically, a plan should include the total income and the total expenses subtracted from each other to create an overall zero balance. I blew off the dust from this one-month budget from years gone-by.
Savings, investing and charity are 10% each of the total income.
You can set this up in Excel.
If you can get a handle on your finances, you will have one less reason for your relationship to break-up.